>> Monday, July 6, 2009
Perhaps just a few of you remember that (Silicon Valley based) Memorex released a CD-i (buy for resale) version of the Philips 910/205 player in 1991/1992. Interesting because Memorex (at that time owned by Tandy, struggled with their Videogame console named VIS (Tandy Memorex Visual Information System (VIS) was an interactive, multimedia CD-ROM player produced by the Tandy Corporation starting in 1992. It was similar in function to the Philips CD-i. The VIS systems were sold only at Radio Shack, under the Memorex brand, both of which Tandy owned at the time.)
At one point the company was "Memorex Telex" as outlined in a dizzying tour-de-force of the development of disk drives, holding close lines with Philips who was producing home computers at that time. Memorex Telex N.V., a corporation based in The Netherlands, survived as an entity of the original Memorex until the middle 1990s. Unisys spun out the media, communications and IBM end user sales and service organization as Memorex. Subsequently Memorex merged with Telex. The company evolved into a provider of information technology solutions. One of those solutions was to bring CD-i to places in the US as a OEM project. As far as I know the Memorex CD-i activities were limited to a OEM license. The fact Memorex standed out as a dutch company is a possible reason to expain the contacts with Philips.
One Question I'd like to know: Did Memorex experiment with CD-i before or after they decided to start with VIS? It's interesting to see Memorex was bidding on two horses: VIS was based on Windows and CD-ROM; CD-i was a direct competitor of CD-ROM. On the other hand, Philips also produced both CD-ROM and CD-i. It's too bad the history of Memorex and Philips seem to be faded on the Internet...